Nov 27, 2013 5:30 PM by Jennifer English

Let's Make a Meal: Chef Manouschka's Turbacon

Thanksgiving is a holiday where a few techniques for making everything easier AND more delicious can go a very long way to making a happy memory for the family archives. I have 5 tips that can make all the difference on Thanksgiving day and require scant effort. Just a bit of planning and you will be all set for success.

1. Turkey. Always make sure you have sufficient turkey meat for leftovers. I think it is the best part of the meal. During the year I eat so many "turkey" sandwiches. But only once a year do they taste this good. To ensure that you have enough, oven roast one extra split, kosher turkey breast for every four guests you re feeding. This will give you plenty of slice-able white meat.

2. Play Pie Dress-up. I love a humble pumpkin, squash or sweet potato pie. I like to dress mine up with hand-whipped whipped cream and a drizzle of honey. This makes any pie, no matter how exquisite ( or even store-bought! HELLO) even better. Yes, I have passed a store bought pie off as my own once utilizing this technique.

3. Remember Food Safety! Cook the turkey, no matter what size it is to an internal temperature of 160-165 degrees. Use a meat thermometer to be sure. And on the table, make sure the bountiful harvest table or buffet is swapped out for fresh EVERY 45 MINUTES. No one wants to get sick on the Holiday. Just moisten a kitchen towel with cold water, ring it out and cover the Turkey meat platter & bird, then refrigerate. Keep Hot Foods Hot & Cold Foods Cold!

4. Respect Traditions. One never knows what attachments family members might have to even the most ubiquitous Thanksgiving Table staple. The BIG DAY is no time to start messing with editing out a tradition. Even if you are convinced that your whole berry, farmers market fresh cranberry sauce is superior to the jellied kind....Dont swop it out. Play it safe and offer at least a small portion of every traditional dish. Even the jellied cranberry sauce. It is beloved too. Why do you think they still make it?

5. Give Thanks. I am reminded to offer my thanks to everyone I cook with. In my home or here at the station.

If you are a guest going into someone's home for the Thanksgiving mean, and you are eager to help but not keen to cook, offering to help with the drinks, clearing empty glasses and generally picking up where you see a need is always something I give thanks for. You do not need to buy something or bring something other than your willingness to help. Of course my favorite guests are the ones that pour a glass of wine, roll up their sleeves and join me in the kitchen to do the dishes. I give them my thanks!

The KVOA anchors did a great job last week offering Thanksgiving recipes. I wanted to inspire you with this variation on a TerDuckEn that has been popular for the last decade. This is called the Turbacon. A flavorful, small 10 lb. turkey enrobed in crispy bacon, stuffed with aromatics, and basted to maple brown perfection. The talented and generous Chef Manouscka Guerrier gave us this original recipe to share with you. I saw a picture of this beauty cooked and had to showcase it today. Thank you Chef Manouschka and Happy Thanksgiving.


Preheat the oven to 350, use a 12-14 lb turkey. I put about a 1/2 lb of sage butter under the skin (mixed room temp butter & chopped sage sage) stuff it with mirepoix, pierced lemon, pierced orange, split one bulb of fennel, rosemary, thyme & sage. Salt, pepper, creole seasoning, herbes de Provence on the top & in the cavity. Drizzle it with olive oil. Roast it uncovered for an hour 15 minutes. Let it cool enough for me to weave bacon, then wrapped it in 3 lbs of bacon. Use toothpicks to keep the ends from curling up & roasted it with an aluminum tent for 2 hours. It helps to weave the bacon on a cookie sheet first & then lay it on the breast.

Baste the bacon bird with a basting potion comprised of cup of maple syrup & 1/4. cup of water every 30 minutes.


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